The Poor Creature in Whitehorse on Nov. 1. A hearing to determine whether the café remains or leaves Yukonstruct is scheduled for Dec. 5. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)

Poor Creature, Yukonstruct case to be heard in court next month

Yukonstruct is seeking to have The Poor Creature evicted, while café owner arguing to stay

A hearing that will determine whether The Poor Creature café gets to stay in Yukonstruct’s downtown Whitehorse building will take place next month.

The hearing had been scheduled to take place Nov. 13 after Yukonstruck filed a petition to the Yukon Supreme Court Nov. 7 seeking to have café owner Brioni Connolly evicted, the latest in an escalating landlord-tenant dispute.

The Poor Creature had a one-year lease with Yukonstruct that expired Oct. 31. Connolly has continued to operate the café since then, telling media that she was under the impression the lease would be renewed.

Yukonstruct, in court documents, said renewal was never discussed.

While Yukonstruct was ready to proceed on Nov. 13, with lawyer James Tucker telling the court that his client had given Connolly enough notice as required by the law, Connolly’s lawyer, Vincent Larochelle, requested an adjournment.

Larochelle argued that his client was “surprised by all of this” and has been working “tirelessly” and “expeditiously” on putting together an affidavit to respond to Yukonstruct’s legal documents, all while trying her best to keep her business running.

The court would be “condemning her business” and “shattering” Connolly’s life if the hearing went ahead, he continued, and as Yukonstruct is not planning on leasing out the café space again, there would be no harm in allowing her to stay a little longer.

Tucker responded that Yukonstruct had a right to an expedited hearing as Connolly is allegedly an overholding tenant and that Yukonstruct “does not wish” to be in a relationship with Connolly any longer.

He also questioned how “expeditiously” Connolly had been working on an affidavit if she had time to hold a rally for supporters the day before.

Justice Edith Campbell ultimately granted an adjournment, saying that it was only fair to give Connolly time to file a written response to the petition.

The hearing is now scheduled for early December.

Contact Jackie Hong at jackie.hong@yukon-news.com

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